A Presidents’ Day Message from our President and CEO

cropped_headshot_webWe honor our Presidents this month because they’ve been charged with leading our country and regardless of your political persuasion; we can all agree this is no easy task.  As President and CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies, I have the task of leading our organization to mission accomplished.  Our mission states, “We will end hunger by efficiently procuring and distributing food and essentials to the hungry, through our programs and partner agencies.” And we know this also is no easy task.

When we look back over the years, Food Bank of the Rockies can proudly say we’ve grown to distribute more pounds and feed more people today than ever before, more than doubling what we distributed just six years ago. We know this is due to the generous contributions of funds, food and time from our community and the mission driven work of our team at the food bank.  For everyone’s efforts, we are truly grateful!

But we also know this is still not enough to accomplish our mission.  1 in 7 Coloradans are struggling to put food on the table. Nearly 1 in 4 kids live in homes where they don’t have enough to eat.  And during these cold winter months, almost half the clients receiving food through our programs and partner agencies are deciding whether to heat their homes or eat a meal. These heartbreaking statistics mean our work is not done.  And with more cuts coming to SNAP, we anticipate even more clients turning to food pantries in their time of need. We’ll continue to fight hunger we need you to stay in the battle with us.

How can you make a difference?  I like to bring up the visual of a three-legged stool. If any legs are missing or shorter than another, the stool can’t stand.  Our stool’s legs are funds, food and time.  We need all three to keep standing strong.  Funds come from individuals, corporations, foundations, grants and estates.  Every dollar we receive becomes 4 meals or 5 pounds of food.  Food comes from our retailers, farmers, ranchers, wholesalers and community. And time can come in the form of volunteering at the warehouse, making a call to your congressperson, participating in our events, “liking” our Facebook page, following us on Twitter and LinkedIn, signing up for our emails and even reading our blog posts.

With continued contributions of funds, food and time, we’ll keep on fighting and we thank you for being one of our soldiers! Every effort means kids like Jeff will have a warm dinner at a Kids Cafe.  Seniors like Marjorie won’t have to choose between taking medicine and having enough to eat.  And pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other programs will continue to feed those who walk humbly through their doors, asking for something to eat.

We’re glad you’re thinking about us and reading this message. We appreciate you!

Warm regards and Happy Presidents’ Day,

Kevin first name tight

 

First Graders Help the Food Bank Provide 828 Meals!

Peabody-01-2014

Peabody Elementary first grade classes greeted us with a warm welcome last week. Over the holidays, the three classes participated in the Kung Food Fighters Kids Club's Quarters for Kids  campaign. The students raised $207.05 which translates to 828 meals!

We visited the school to pick up the coins and had a chance to talk with the students.  When asked if they had to do anything special for their quarters, many said they cleaned their rooms, raked leaves, helped with the dishes, walked the dog and even helped out their neighbors!  These bright kids were quick to say what it feels like to be hungry and shared how tummies growl and it's just "terrible"! They learned that many people can be hungry and it's hard to tell if someone is struggling to find food just by looking at them.

We appreciate the wonderful team of teachers who decided to team up with Food Bank of the Rockies and were moved to see everyone’s enthusiasm about the project.  Thank you Peabody Elementary for your warm welcome and big hearts.  We appreciate your efforts to help us Fight Hunger and Feed Hope!

Want to learn more about the  Kung Food Fighters Kids Club? Visit our webpage or email kidsclub@foodbankrockies.org.

Never Too Small To Fight Hunger

hannah

Not long ago, one of our youngest donors stopped by to drop off a contribution and tour the food bank.  Hannah is only five, but as soon as you meet her, you immediately realize she has wisdom and compassion far beyond her years.  This caring kindergartener saved her allowance and brought in $12 to share with hungry kids.  We were happy to let her know her gift will provide 48 meals and every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference to someone who’s hungry.   We were happy to tour Hannah and her family. Meeting her brightened our afternoon and gave us renewed hope for the future.

Hannah, you are an awesome Kung Food Fighter and we are grateful for your kindness!

Do you know about our Kung Food Fighters Kids Club?  It’s free and easy to join.  Please visit our Kung Food Fighters Kids Club page to learn more.

Tom and Ed did it Again!

Arvada Lights

One of the most enjoyable private Christmas displays you’ll ever see is located near 58th and Ward Road in Arvada.  Stop by Tom and Ed’s place during the holidays and you’ll be treated to twinkly lights moving to music and bringing lots of joy to the crowd.

Tom and Ed do this purely for the love of it each year and didn’t want to accept money for their power bill. Instead, they started accepting donations on behalf of Food Bank of the Rockies.  Over the last few years, they’ve helped us provide tens of thousands of meals through their and their visitors’ generosity.  This year was no exception. We received a gift from Tom, Ed and their visitors that will provide 11,244 meals!

Thanks for not only lighting of the holiday season, Tom and Ed, but for also brightening the New Year for our hungry neighbors!

Meet Kayla, 8 and Michael, 7, Kung Food Fighters extraordinaire! This sister and brother duo attended our Kung Food Fighters Kids Club pizza party and learned about the Quarters for Kids campaign.  They wanted to help and after brainstorming with mom, they decided to spend the day at Sloan’s Lake, offering lemonade and goat petting for donations.

When they came to the food bank to bring in their donation and take a tour, Kayla and Michael filled us in on a little secret; the goats raised more money than the lemonade!  At the end of the day, their hard work provided 138 meals for hungry kids. What a fantastic effort by some very caring kids and their parents.  Thank you Kayla, Michael, Mom, Dad and of course the goats for helping us feed kids in need!

Do you know about our Kung Food Fighters Kids Club?  It’s free and easy to join.  Please visit our Kung Food Fighters Kids Club page to learn more.

Panera Bread Gives Back

uly 018Panera Bread is volunteering at our warehouse today. We asked them to share a little bit about how they make a difference. We are very grateful for their partnership and look forward to providing many meals to our community because of their and their customers' generosity!

At Panera Bread®, we believe in giving back to the communities in which we serve. We have worked to help combat the problem of hunger in Denver for 12 years when we opened our first bakery-café in Colorado. Since then, our efforts fighting hunger have grown to include various charitable initiatives, donations and numerous community events.

Panera is proud to partner with Food Bank of the Rockies, an outstanding partner who is providing meals to our neighbors in need.

We partner with FBR through our Operation Dough- Nation Community Breadbox™ program where customer’s spare change is collected and donated annually to FBR.  On January 20th, 2014, Panera associates have a unique opportunity to volunteer their time during the MLK National Day of Service to the Food Bank of the Rockies.   This unique volunteer opportunity gives our associates the ability to follow the donations in our ODN boxes and witness firsthand the change it makes in our community.  Every cent counts! As a partner with FBR we enjoy seeing how these donations add up to big change in our community.   Next time you are in a Panera, unload your pockets in our Operation Dough-Nation Community Breadbox! Don’t forget to mark your calendar for annual Panerathon 5K/10K in September!

The Best Request for Christmas

3All 10 year old Garrett wanted for Christmas was a pair of new headphones, a giant cookie and for people to donate food to Food Bank. So for 3 weeks, with the help of his mom, he collected food from neighbors, friends, his hockey team and anyone else willing to donate. When he came to make his donation, Garrett collected enough to fill an entire wire bin. Thanks to his efforts, the 448 pounds he and his friends contributed will provide 373 meals for hungry people in our community! Garrett , we appreciate your generous spirit. Thank you for helping us feed hope this holiday season!! Do you have a generous kid in your life?  Introduce them to our Kung Food Fighters Kids Club?  It’s free, easy to join and has lots of ideas on ways kids can give back.  Please visit our Kung Food Fighters Kids Club page to learn more.

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40,000 More Meals, Just in Time for the Holidays!

IMG_0874Jessica Rink, Corporate Social Responsibility Project Manager for Bank of America stopped by the food bank yesterday with a wonderful gift. Thanks to a grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Food Bank of the Rockies will be able to provide 40,000 meals to our neighbors in need, just in time for the holidays. The grant we received is part of ongoing investments the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is making to address immediate critical needs, such as hunger and shelter, and longer term solutions that promote financial wellness through access to benefits and resources. We are filled of gratitude, knowing the pantries of those struggling to put food on the table will be filled as well. Thanks Bank of America!

At-Home Dads Lend a Hand at FBR

Our warehouse was bustling with volunteers last Friday morning and we had some special guests filling orders in our distribution area.  The National At-Home Dad Network hosted their 18th annual convention right here in Denver over the weekend. Several members came from across the country and wanted to give back while they were here. We had a chance to visit with Richard Blake who organized the volunteer activity.

Here’s a big THANK YOU to these terrific volunteers for being caring parents and for making a difference for the hungry in our community! We appreciate you lending a hand in our warehouse during your visit to Denver.

Interested in volunteering with FBR? Please visit our volunteer page to learn more!

It All Started With a PB&J

We sure do love innovative ideas that better the lives of our neighbors in need.  We received this email from a new friend of the food bank and wanted to share.  Be inspired.  And buy a sandwich card while you're at it!  

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 Dear Food Bank of the Rockies,

Thanks for being so enthusiastic about my company, Food for Thoughts Cards, and our "greeting cards that give back locally." My first donation is in the mail to you - with a sample card, as promised.  Again, the back story is simple. I pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to give to a homeless person when I take the train from New Jersey to New York University each week, where I teach part-time. Now I've taken that effort up a notch through Food for Thoughts Cards. 

We launched our line of giving-back cards in January. The cards are shaped with a bread outline, and with the purchase of each card we donate (the cash equivalent of) a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a food pantry. Our history of giving back can be found on our website and our Facebook page. Our store locations are on the sites as well.

http://www.foodforthoughtscards.com/

https://www.facebook.com/FoodForThoughtsCards

Here's the best part... We think locally. Stores may select the food pantry to receive Food for Thoughts Cards' donation for cards they purchase. One card = one sandwich donation. My donation to you (equivalent to 111 sandwiches) is for cards purchased by Swoozie's in Denver.

We have nine 5x5 card designs. The cards are  packaged in a clear sleeve and the quality is excellent. They are printed in New Jersey on recycled paper.  People love the cards - both the cards themselves and the concept. It's an amazing way to give back and feed the hungry in local communities.  One last thing. Here's an article about my company that was published last week in the Morristown NJ Patch:

http://morris.patch.com/groups/volunteering/p/changing-the-world-one-pbj-at-a-time

Kind Regards,

Connie